Ex-husband controlling and manipulative

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  • #40165 Report


    I am really struggling at the moment – it is a difficult time for lots of people at the moment, but this week I feel total despair.

    My son has not wanted to go to his dad’s house much since we’ve been in lockdown, for lots of reasons and we have had some heart-to-hearts about how he is feeling. I’ve tried to encourage him to spend just a few hours with his dad and then come home but he didn’t want to.

    I’m sure that his dad thinks I am preventing him from seeing him, but I am not (although we have had an argument when I found out that he wasn’t taking social distancing seriously), our son has just not wanted to go.

    The times he has gone, he would text me saying he wanted to come home and last week after I managed to convince him to go round his dad brought him back an hour later and was quite horrible to our son when he dropped him off.

    He agreed to go and see him this week – it was meant to be for 2 days (if he lasted that long) but his dad went out and bought him a really expensive laptop and accessories, so now obviously he wants to stay longer.

    I predicted his dad would do something like this – resorting to bribery after the emotional blackmail he tried did not work. I am sad that my son has fallen for it, but I guess at his age, he is fickle!

    Now I am just so confused and feel guilty – were all of my son’s feelings and worries about going to his dad’s house real? Should I have not kept trying to force him to see his dad, when he kept telling me he didn’t want to go?

    His dad is a very controlling and manipulative person (always has been) and I have been worried for a long time about the effect he is having on our son. He talks negatively about me and I have had to put up with a lot of anger from my son because he blames me for the divorce. Recently, I felt he was beginning to see what his dad is really like and that was part of the reason he didn’t want to spend as much time with him.

    But now thanks to him spending hundreds of pounds on technology, my son wants to stay with his dad all week and I feel heartbroken that he has been manipulated in this way. I should have listened to my gut and not sent him round.

    #40171 Report




    i m sorry I don’t have any answers for you but I’m dealing with something very much like this myself.  Only thing I would say is ‘kids eventually become wise to it And just to be there for your son. It may take a while but he will see what his dad is like in the end.


    good luck x

    #40188 Report


    Search on YouTube for Melanie Tonia Evans, she has lots of helpful videos about co-parenting with a narcissistic person and about how to deal to with being alienated from your child. I found them very helpful.

    #40200 Report


    Thank you for your comments. I will definitely have a look on YouTube.

    It is so frustrating and I thought he was starting to get wise to how his dad operates, but it looks like we’ve still got a way to go.

    I feel so helpless – I try talking about things with him but I don’t know how much of it he understands or how much I should really talk to him about.

    He’s 10 and he’s an intelligent boy but how can I compete when is dad employs these tactics?


    #40317 Report


    My ex is controlling and manipulative he has bought our children quad bikes, laptops gaming stuff but honestly they saw through him after just a short while. Now he is trying to emotionally control them and this is making them not want to go. He is now taking me to court for joint custody, I have tried to protect the boys AND make excuses for my exs behavior, but not anymore.


    #40353 Report


    He will soon see through him. People like your ex aren’t as clever as they think they are.

    Plus if he wants to spend all that money on a nice laptop then it benefits you really as well. Cha-ching! 😀

    My ex doesn’t guess me any money at all now, just my son spending money. It’s not a competition but I see it like this I’m the one working, paying Bill’s and everything AND buying treats. I don’t care what my ex does now x


    #40360 Report



    I hope this will help you, now I am single mum. But my parent this things like that .
    You grow and see , the behaviours and analyse everything eventually.
    Be patience but if your son don’t want to see him don’t push about it.
    Also if he buys him staff, let him benefit for now because I’m not much time he will stopped.
    in a few year your son would be praising in how hard your work to raise him and how amazing mum you are.

    stay strong , talk and relief with friends , I this forum we all need somewhere to let the steam off .

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